Nessoft, LLC products have received numerous mentions in the trade and regular press (electronic and print), books and other media. Some of the links are hosted locally if we've discovered that article doesn't exist anymore (i.e. we grabbed it before it went away), and try to make sure there aren't any broken links. If you do discover a broken link we haven't caught yet, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Portion of an article by Bill Machrone in the 5/25/98 printed PC.Week.
Bill Machron: Up Periscope
Internet utilities: Follow that packet!
By Bill Machrone 05.25.98 Is that server up? Is a router bogging down under a crush of traffic? Has your ISP (or IS department) configured your server correctly?
These are questions that Internet utilities answer as a matter of course. Most of us rely on ping and traceroute for everyday testing, but a handful of utilities packages that range from inexpensive to free will do a more thorough job. I downloaded a bunch of them from www.hotfiles.com and put them through their paces. They're simple but have surprising differences.
An example of an enhanced ping/trace program is Ping Plotter, which combines ping and traceroute and gives you a graphical display of the delays encountered at each hop. All of the enhanced route tracers are multithreaded: They test all of the hops in parallel rather than sequentially. Ping Plotter lets you enter the number of traces you want to run on a given site or IP address, and it averages the response times and draws a nice graph. The only thing I didn't like about it was the default of continuous tracing unless you enter a number. There are too many garbage packets out there already without the uninformed adding to them. Author Pete Ness offers Ping Plotter as freeware.
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Review from ComputerWorld Canada
Adult Toys - interesting software for grownups
by Robert Fabian
The Internet is often visualized as a vast international "cloud". You connect locally through a LAN or by dialing out to an ISP. That plugs you into the "cloud", and it somehow finds a path to your intended destination. When it works, it's almost magic. But there are times when your Internet connection just crawls.
It's possible to look part of the way into the "cloud". The simplest thing is to ping the machine you want reach. This bounces a signal off the remote computer. Timing how long the signal takes to come back is an indication of the relative speed of the connection.
A more complete picture can be had by running traceroute. This will tell you all of the intermediate points between your machine and the remote computer. Often, there will be more than ten links in the chain between computers. Your speed will be determined by the slowest link in this chain.
Interesting theory, but who wants to pore over some obscure traceroute table? Fortunately, there are programs that hide the unpleasant details and give you a picture of the connection. PingPlotter (http://www.pingplotter.com) is a freeware program that does just that.
You tell PingPlotter the destination that interests you, e.g. www.rfabian.com. It then draws a graph of the minimum, maximum, and average time it takes to ping a signal off every computer in the chain between your machine and that destination. If there are any bottlenecks in the chain they show up clearly.
With a bit of experience, it's easy to tell if a problem comes from your Internet gateway, or the Internet itself, or the remote site. At a minimum, this allows you to identify local gateway problems and work on removing them. PingPlotter is a modest Win 95 program that does the job. I find it to be useful.
Robert Fabian is a Toronto consultant. His web site is at: http://www.rfabian.com.
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